Former Head Writer of The Tonight Show Picks His Joke of the Week

Congrats to Dave Stolz for winning this week’s joke pick!

Pro comedy writer Joe Toplyn, Former head-writer of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman, picks his joke of the week:

Winner: Dave Stolz, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Slew of dead rodents found inside local theater

Punch line: Also found dead in the theater, everyone’s subscription to MoviePass.

To write this great joke, Dave might have used Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.

One question he might have asked is, “What other dead thing was found inside the theater?” To answer that question in a funny way, he thought of associations of the handle “theater.”

One association is the movie subscription service MoviePass, which has been having potentially fatal financial problems lately. So MoviePass became the dead thing in Dave’s punch line.

Dave had to make two judgment calls in writing this joke. The first judgment call was whether his audience would accept his referring to MoviePass as dead. The last I heard, MoviePass still had one foot outside of the grave. But I agree with Dave that the stench of death is strong enough around MoviePass that the joke will work.

The second judgment call involved Joke Maximizer #4: Make everything clear. Is it clear that a MoviePass subscription could be dead in a theater when the subscriber must have been able to use the MoviePass to get into the theater? The logic isn’t crystal clear, but I agree with Dave that it’s clear enough that the audience will laugh anyway.